Whenever there is a change in government, it is customarily common as it is traditional that the newly elected governor or president selects those individuals he can work with. Individuals that they find objectionable or incongruent with their policies will be removed and replaced with the person or persons of their choices. At times, these leaders would use loopholes within the framework of the Constitution to cleverly meet their objectives.
With the presidential system of government in Nigeria, the governor is basically the chief executive officer of the State, and he runs the State as he deems fit within the confinement of the law. This particular write-up is specifically to address the self-generated tension in Imo State by certain Orlu people due to the removal of former chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Ilomuanya.
It is shocking to note the reactions of certain interest groups in Orlu after the governor, who is the son of the soil, removed a traditional ruler from office from the same zone because he felt he could not work with Eze Ilomuanya. This particular interest group fails to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of Governor Rochas since he came to power. Governor Rochas has accomplished in three months what many of his predecessors failed to do in four and eight years, respectively.
As a governor of a State whose chieftaincy institution is under his authority, he has the right to remove any traditional ruler, even to strip the staff of office of any traditional ruler that uses his stool to practice partisan politics.
The reactions of certain Orlu interest groups (not all) are rather bizarre:
First, they threatened to secede to Enugu State if Governor Rochas Okorocha failed to rescind his decision on Eze Ilomuanya.
The second threat was to unleash their youths to attack the oil pipes in Egbema and Oguta oil fields.
The third threat is to take their complaints to President Goodluck Jonathan.
I did not read about any threat to seek for legal redress. These threats are shocking to me because it came from a region that produced the governor of Imo State for eight solid years in the person of Chief Achike Udenwa, and perhaps another possible eight years for Governor Rochas Okorocha, and the interest group from the same region is calling for cataclysm and Armageddon to engulf Imo State because of a removal of a traditional ruler.
My advice for this Orlu interest group is: please use the same strength and tactics to lobby the Federal Government and National Assembly for the immediate creation of Njaba State so that we can have peace in Imo State.
The calls to destroy Imo State because of removal of a traditional ruler are primitive, amateurish and naïve. Those that are calling for the attacks on oil fields must be held accountable. The State must reject the call to introduce catastrophe and lawlessness in the State. Joke apart, Owerri people are the most law abiding and loving citizens of the State.
The Owerri lands were confiscated and shared amongst themselves and Owerri people did not lift a finger to anyone in the face of deprivation and provocation. Just recently, Orlu members of Imo State House of Assembly mounted an unwarranted and blistering attacks on former Honorable Minister of Interior, Gentleman Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho, an Owerri son, calling for his immediate removal by President Jonathan because Capt. Ihenacho supposedly and “unapologetically” usurped the slot meant of Orlu people in the Federal Cabinet; and still Owerri people did not threaten anyone.
The Owerri people are polished like the shinning of morning stars in their behaviors and always play by the book.
The State Security operatives must pay attention to those calling for lawlessness and anarchy in the State just because the elected governor exercised his duties as a governor to remove a traditional ruler, what a laughable joke! This group must be held accountable for any mayhem that occurs as a result of their calls for lawlessness.
The sectional politics within a State, if not properly checked, can be as disastrous as ethnic and tribal politics. Until your State is created, Imo State belongs to all and not to Orlu people alone. Give Governor Rochas a break! Enough of your whining! May be, Governor Rochas should appoint all commissioners and special advisers from Orlu zone in order to maintain peace in the State.
If you threaten to secede to Enugu State, it is not bad at all being my maternal home State, but please do it quickly. Enough of your empty threats! Let the Governor rule the State as was given to him by the people and not by you alone. Take a deep breathe and slow down, but realize that it is all vanity as we are here on borrowed time.
Mazi Henry Otulle Eke writes from Austin, Texas, USA! He is a journalist, social critic columnist, and author of Great Loss of Innocence – a story of a boy who lived through the deadly Nigerian – Biafran War, 1966 – 1970. Mazi Eke is the editor and publisher of Town Crier Newsletter, a bi-monthly newsletter serving African community living in Austin, Texas and its environs. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ndewo daa!